Jonathan Little Plays a Draw Passively From Out of Position

Jonathan Little Plays a Draw Passively from Out of Position

Today's hand comes from a $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament, the Bellagio Cup, and finds me in a blind-versus-blind situation playing a draw passively from out of position.

With the blinds 1,000/2,000 and a 300 ante, action folded around to me in the small blind where I had about 50,000 chips (25 big blinds) to start and had been dealt J9. I chose to limp, my loose-aggressive opponent who had me outchipped checked from the big blind, and the flop came 876.

I had an open-ended straight draw, although as I note in the video below the board also could easily hit my opponent's random starting hand range. I checked, my opponent bet 3,000, and I called.

With the pot a little over 10,000, the turn brought the J to give me a pair and I checked again. My opponent bet 4,000, an interesting bet size that could mean a lot of things. With my draw and pair of jacks I just called again, pushing the pot up over 18,000.

The river brought the K, and I after I checked one more time my opponent bet 10,000. See what I did in response and hear my explanation of my reasoning.

As I talk about on the video, my students sometimes will bring me a hand like this and wonder if they should have made a big fold on the river. I tell them it's okay to lose hands — that's part of poker. How would you have played this hand?

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,700,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

  • @JonathanLittle flops a reasonable draw from out of position and decides to take the passive route.

  • Consider what you would have done in this blind-versus-blind hand played by @JonathanLittle.

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